Ruud en Leo Duijnisveld
In 2012, Ruud and Leo Duijnisveld decided to expand their Pepper Nursery from 5.2 hectares to 9.2 hectares. They also wanted to develop a new AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) system for the whole company that would meet all their requirements. For us, this was a good challenge for developing a smart harvesting trolley together with the customer. All in all, it cost us a year to develop this trolley, but it eventually resulted in a competitive advantage.
Our sales manager Hans Fakkert: ‘We were asked to develop smarter harvesting trolleys, with a Wi-Fi connection and smartphone control. We were keen to take up the challenge, and we saw a good opportunity for developing a new product. The trolleys themselves have been adapted considerably, from the size of the platforms, the position of the controls to the height of the chassis etc. That took about a year, after that most teething problems had been eliminated.
Solution and result
The collaboration between Duijnisveld and Berg Hortimotive resulted in a smarter AGV, which the employees consider pleasant and safe. An important detail is that the sprung bottom of the harvest container rises with little weight and drops the more weight is applied. This minimises fall damage.
If the trolleys are full, the employees only need to turn them onto the main aisle and press the button; the trolleys will then drive automatically to the shed, where they are emptied on the grading machine or in the buffer. The empty trolleys subsequently return automatically to the centre aisle in the greenhouse.
According to Ruud Duijnisveld, there are significant advantages in a smart AGV system; you harvest at a height, the container's bottom is mounted on a spring, you have virtually no activities on the main aisle, thus saving labour but also providing for calmer business operations. The system also provides a lot more monitoring methods; for instance, you can see what each picker has harvested. The app enables you to keep an eye on all the trolleys and to operate them.